Episode 11: Discipleship and the Twelve Steps – Interview with Kaye Schneider

So often, churches focus primarily on giving people information—theology, apologetics, Bible studies, etc.  Information is good, but information doesn’t necessarily lead to transformation.  Not deep transformation, anyway.  In this episode, Kaye Schneider shares about how the Twelve Steps have deepened her own discipleship and how she now uses the Twelve Step process to help others experience deep, spiritual inner life transformation.





  • Kaye is a Marriage and Family Life Educator.
  • If Kaye’s life were a book it would be titled From Grief to Gratitude.
  • The title of the current chapter of Kaye’s life would be “In the Wilderness.”
  • Interesting how many professors and pastors are introverts, yet they are called to lead groups.
  • Kaye was “thrown” into the recovery process in the unfolding of a 5-year divorce after a 27-year “Christian” marriage that was filled with addiction.
  • No one is unaffected if there is an addict in the family.
  • All kinds of activities can be addictive.
  • Kaye has been working with the Twelve Steps for thirteen years. She studied recovery, psychology, and theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.
  • Kaye has started several recovery groups focused on discipleship in Pasadena, Chula Vista, and Coronado (San Diego).
  • Kaye’s ministry, Vital Connections, is focused on helping people stay “vitally connected” to God and others through a Twelve Step process.
  • The Twelve steps are action, not concepts or principles.
    • Steps 1-3: Deal with one’s relationship with God.
    • Steps 4-6: Deal with looking at one’s inner self.
    • Steps 7-9: Focus on confession and making amends with others.
    • Steps 10-12: Deal with strengthening what has been accomplished in the first nine steps.
  • The Twelve Steps are:
    • Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over people, places, and things, and that our lives had become unmanageable.
    • Step 2: We came to believe in a power greater than ourselves that could restore us to sanity.
    • Step 3: We made a decision to turn my will over to the care of God, as we understand him.
    • Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
    • Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
    • Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
    • Step 7: We humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings and made a list of all the people we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them.
    • Step 8: We made that list of all the people we harmed.
    • Step 9: We made direct amends, going directly to that person whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or yourself.
    • Step 10: We continue to take personal inventory and when we’re wrong we promptly admit it.
    • Step 11: We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood him, praying only for his knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
    • Step 12: Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.
  • The Twelve Steps aren’t about giving people information (about God, about spirituality, about theology, etc.), but about transformation. Information is good, but information alone doesn’t lead to transformation.
  • Transformation is hard to measure. However, you can see people’s “aha” moments as they grow.
  • Kaye shares that she was once very legalistic and controlling, especially in the way she raised her children. Now she is able to see it and live in a way that doesn’t try to control others.
  • Addictive thinking is black or white, all or nothing. She lived this kind of thinking out in her marriage. She “submitted” to her husband in a way that was extremely unhealthy.
  • It is frustrating to try to introduce this kind of deep spirituality into the church. Most churches just want information or programs.
  • Churches generally don’t allow for transparency and honesty when it comes to our sin and brokenness.
  • Kaye’s Vital Connections groups are open groups, meaning anyone can join at any time.
  • Kaye’s website is www.lydiacompany.com.



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